CULVER CITY, Calif., April 23, 2014 - Sony Pictures Entertainment, Mattel and Parkes+MacDonald/Image Nation today announced a partnership on a live-action comedy featuring the beloved and dynamic icon Barbie. The studio sees this as its next big, global franchise and plans to go into production by the end of the year. Written by Jenny Bicks and produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, the film will be executive produced by Parkes+MacDonald’s president Marc Resteghini alongside Julia Pistor, who will executive produce for Mattel’s Playground Productions.
From princess to president, mermaid to movie star, Barbie® has done it all – through her more than 150 careers, she has gained valuable experiences and shown her fans that anything is possible for a modern woman. In her live-action big screen debut, Barbie will inhabit many of these roles, utilizing her personal and professional skills to inspire change in the lives of everyone around her. This comedic and contemporary film marks the second collaboration between Sony Pictures and Mattel, which are currently developing a film adaptation of Masters of the Universe, based on Mattel’s popular action figures.
Commenting on the announcement, Hannah Minghella, Columbia Pictures’ president of Production, said "We’ve always thought that the Barbie story had great potential, but a universe of possibilities opened up when Jenny, Walter and Laurie brought us their unexpected, clever, and truly funny concept. It captures everything that has made Barbie a classic for generation after generation while also standing on its own, establishing Barbie as a truly original screen character. We’re confident that Barbie will delight audiences, no matter where her adventures take her."
Parkes and MacDonald added, "While it's an overused word, Barbie truly is a legend, a cultural symbol whose career choices have been as unlimited as her wardrobe. She is about empowerment, but never at the expense of fun. Our hope is to capture all of these aspects of Barbie in a modern take of the character that can appeal to moviegoers of all ages."
"Barbie has entertained children and inspired their imagination and creativity for more than 50 years. Now is the right time in Barbie’s celebrated history for her to star in a live-action, contemporary comedy that brings her playful personality to life for generations of fans," said Tim Kilpin, EVP Global Brands, Mattel.
The deal was brokered by CAA on behalf of Mattel and Parkes+MacDonald, by UTA on behalf of Jenny Bicks and by Michael Marshall for Sony Pictures Entertainment.
JENNY BICKS most recently served as a writer and executive producer of the Showtime series "The Big C." She was also a writer/executive producer of the series "Men in Trees" and writer/co-executive producer of "Sex and the City." She most recently co-wrote Rio 2 and also wrote the feature film What a Girl Wants.
WALTER F. PARKES and LAURIE MacDONALD are the husband and wife team who hold the unique distinction of having helped to create DreamWorks, the first new studio in five decades, as well as being two of the most active producers working today. Films produced or executive-produced by Parkes & MacDonald include Gladiator, Amistad, Men In Black I & II, Minority Report, The Mask of Zorro, Catch Me If You Can, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Terminal, Road to Perdition, The Ring, The Kite Runner, and Stephen Sondheim’s musical thriller, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, among many others. In total, films produced or executive-produced by Parkes and MacDonald have earned in excess of $6 billion in worldwide box office. They most recently produced Men in Black 3 and Flight.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/.
ABOUT MATTELThe Mattel family of companies (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. Mattel’s portfolio of best-selling brands includes Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever produced, Hot Wheels®, Monster High®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends® and Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People® and Power Wheels®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by Ethisphere Magazine and is also ranked No. 2 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel’s companies employ nearly 30,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sell products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play. Visit us at www.mattel.com, www.facebook.com/mattel, or www.twitter.com/mattel
Press Contact:Sony Pictures EntertainmentJean GuerinSVP, Media Relations310-244-2923Mattel:Angela Emery310-252-3306